Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I'm playing the "corporate wife" for a couple of days, even thought I'm not exactly a wife and Beren is not actually a corporate big-wig. *grin* You see, his job sometimes requires a bit of traveling, just across the state, and I always manage to tag along. Even if we're just staying at a Hampton Inn in some podunk town, I am still in a hotel room, with My Man, alone. While he's at meetings and such, I enjoy long luxurious hours to myself reading, blogging, watching movies, lounging by the pool, using the hotel fitness center, etc. Sometimes I drop him off at his destination and take the car to go shopping or exploring, maybe get a pedicure as I did yesterday. It's heavenly!
The only real downside of the whole thing is the dining experience, or lack thereof. You all know how much I enjoy cooking and honestly am not a big fan of eating out. When I do, it's for a special occasion or out of necessity. For the most part, I prefer my own cooking! Even though I'm not gourmet or always fancy, I know what ingredients I'm putting on my table and into my mouth! When traveling, however, I'm obviously at the mercy or whatever restaurant we happen upon. Often this can be a wonderful thing as we've discovered some really great little treasures, but sometimes not so much.
Yesterday was a good example of both experiences. For lunch, I was determined to find a local restaurant, did not want the same old chains we have at home. After driving all over Naples, testing Beren's patience and running out of time, we finally found an adorable little place that was well worth the effort, Spanky's Speakeasy.
The decor was adorable, I was entertained just looking around at all of the antiques, posters, etc that adorn the walls. Everything was spotlessly clean including the ladies room, a biggie for me!
Being mostly-vegetarian, my meal choices were a bit limited. Other than salad, there wasn't much on the menu that didn't include meat. Though the salad bar looked great, I was in the mood for a sandwich so I settled for the tuna salad, asking them to make it into a wrap. No problem there but when I requested a substitution of fresh fruit for the potato chips I was told it would cost $2.00 extra! I'm not cheap but I thought that was a bit much so I declined. Beren had the rib special which came with steak fries, $8.00. He said that while they weren't the best ribs he'd ever had, they were good and the price and portion size was perfect for a weekday lunch. My sandwich was adequate, typical tuna salad, nothing special, but it was a generous size and I found myself taking half of it to go.
Overall, a good lunch time experience. I would like to see more health-conscious items on the menu but I understand that this is a deli-type place and not catering to the crunchy crowd. We peeked into the bar area on the way out, would love to come back for cocktail hour another day!
For dinner we visited our favorite Irish pub of all time, The Celtic Ray, were really looking forward to it since we hadn't been there in a couple of years. Imagine our dismay when we walked up to find this sign:
Uh-oh! Now what? Well, the doors were wide open with people inside so we decided to go in anyway. It turns out that the original owner, Kevin Doyle, had re-acquired his bar and it was supposed to officially re-open yet there was a glitch in the system which caused a delay. Not one to turn away friends/patrons, Kevin opened the doors and served beer, wine & chips for free, just requesting a small donation if you were so inclined. Beautiful! We shared a pint with Mr. Doyle and got the scoop on what had happened to him since we'd been gone, what a story!
Since dining at the Ray was not an option but we were still craving some Irish grub, Kevin lead us to the next best thing, a pub called the Ice House Pub. While we enjoyed the meal, the fish & chips were not quite as good as expected and the atmosphere was much too loud & busy so we headed back to the hotel for the night.
So, that's where I am now, lounging about in the room while Beren fulfills his work obligations. He'll be back by noon when we'll check out and head to lunch, stay tuned!